On Thursday November 30, Scott Keeney of Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center and HHMI investigator will deliver the 2023 Paul Doty Lecture. Named for MCB professor Paul Doty (1920-2011), the annual Doty Lecture honors Doty’s scientific accomplishments.
This year’s Doty Lecture will take place on Thursday, November 30 at 12:00 PM in Northwest B103.
Keeney studies meiotic recombination, the process of exchanging genetic information between maternal and paternal chromosomes before forming sex cells. Genetic crossing-over is essential for sexual reproduction from two perspectives—first, it shuffles genetic information between the maternal and paternal versions of each chromosome; second, it plays a mechanistic role in meiotic chromosome segregation. Many of Keeney’s research projects focus on a protein called Spo11 that he identified during his time as a postdoc in the Kleckner Lab. During meiosis, Spo11 creates double stranded DNA breaks, thus kick-starting the recombination process.
In his Doty Lecture, Keeney will share insights from investigating Spo11, as well as the proteins that interact with it, the mechanisms that stitch DNA back together after double stranded DNA breaks, and the way in which all these events are regulated. Keeney is especially interested in how crossover formation is buffered against genetic and environmental challenges. His work involves biochemical, genetic, and cytological approaches in mouse and budding yeast. His talk is titled, “Breaking and chewing DNA: Meiotic break formation and processing.”